We said yes without even thinking. How could we refuse? It was the opportunity to experience dining on a whole new level.
We were in New Orleans on business. Some dear friends from California were there as well and celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. They invited us to go with them to The Commander’s Palace (where Emeril Lagasse got his start) and dine at the Chef’s Table. We couldn’t believe they wanted us to join them, but without hesitation we accepted.
It was not simply dinner – it was an event! The sous chef entertained us, engaged us in the making of each course, and explained everything about life in his working environment. It was an absolute blast. It is still one of those nights we rank in the Top Three of our best romantic dates.
B.U.T. most couples can’t or don’t want to afford such an experience. I know we couldn’t at that time in our marriage, but God blessed us.
We share with you this story so you can appreciate a couple of affordable alternatives.
The first of which we took advantage of last night. We went to Carrabba’s, which is a restaurant we love and frequent often on date nights. However, we changed it up a bit and sat at the kitchen counter. We had front row seats for all the cooking action.
Although the cooks didn’t have much time to engage us in conversation, it was still fun and quite entertaining. We even got a free appetizer when the cook handed us a plate of Ravioli to sample. It was delicious!
Luma on Park in downtown Winter Park offers a similar “kitchen counter” experience. On a tight budget? You could share a dinner making this experience even more affordable.
If you are planning a significant celebration, why not check out some of the nicer restaurants right here in Central Florida which offer a Chef’s Table . We haven’t tried any of them yet, but we did the research and may just have to plan one in the near future.
NOTE: if you do NOT live in Central Florida: Many of the restaurants listed below may be available in your area. Simply do a search on google for “Chef’s Tables”.
- The Edgewater Hotel in historic Winter Garden.
- La CoQuina’s Chef’s Table at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel.
- Bucca di Beppo in Maitland.
- Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Restaurant – not quite a chef’s table, but you’ll be served by the culinary students – and at a reduced price. Reservations are required.
- Hillstone Restaurant (formerly Houston’s) offers Private Dining on the Dock by reservations only. Not really a chef’s table, but hey – outside and lakeside for a sunset. You can’t get much better than this!
Have you ever enjoyed a dinner out together so much you’ve never forgotten it? Tell us, what is your favorite, most romantic restaurant?
The Orlando Business Journal provides an excellent article on the concept of The Chef’s Table and explains why some restaurants have altered their offerings in this economy.
This is post #27 in The Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in July.